Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

以斯帖记 1

亚哈随鲁王大宴群臣

1亚哈随鲁在位期间,统治从印度到古实的一百二十七个省。 亚哈随鲁王在书珊城登基, 他在执政第三年大宴群臣,波斯和玛代的将领、各省的贵族和大臣都在场。 整整一百八十天,他展示自己帝国的财富和王权的威荣。 之后,他又一连七天在御花园宴请书珊城里所有的居民,无论尊卑。 御花园里有白色的棉帐和蓝色的彩帐,用细麻绳和紫色绳系在大理石柱的银环上。有金银制成的床榻摆在各色斑岩、大理石、珍珠贝壳及其他贵重石头铺成的地上。 饮酒用的是各式各样的金器皿,御酒大量供应,足显王的慷慨。 喝酒有个规矩,不许勉强人,因为王吩咐过宫里所有的侍从,招待各人要随其所愿。 瓦实提王后也在亚哈随鲁王的宫里设宴招待女宾。

瓦实提王后被废

10 第七天,亚哈随鲁王喝得心中畅快,就吩咐在王身边服侍的米户幔、比斯他、哈波拿、比革他、亚拔他、西达和甲迦七位太监, 11 去请瓦实提王后戴着后冠到王面前,向百姓和官员展现她的美貌,因为她非常美丽。 12 但瓦实提王后违抗太监所传的谕旨,拒绝前来,王非常生气,怒火中烧。

13 王有事习惯征求通晓律例和法则之人的意见,于是他去问精通时务的哲士。 14 那时,靠近王的有甲示拿、示达、押玛他、他施斯、米力、玛西拿和米姆干七位波斯和玛代的大臣,他们常见王的面,在国中身居高位。 15 王问他们:“瓦实提王后违抗太监所传的谕旨,按律该如何处置她?”

16 米姆干当着王和大臣们的面说:“瓦实提王后不但冒犯了王,而且有害于举国的臣民。 17 因为王后的事必传到所有妇女的耳中,致使她们藐视自己的丈夫,因为她们会说,‘亚哈随鲁王请瓦实提王后到他面前,她却不去。’ 18 今天,波斯和玛代的贵妇听到王后这事,也会如此对待王的大臣,藐视和恼怒之事必层出不穷。 19 王若愿意,就请降旨不准瓦实提再到王面前,把她王后的位分赐给比她更好的女子,并将此谕旨写入波斯和玛代的律法,永不更改。 20 王的谕旨传遍王辽阔的国境后,所有的妇女,无论丈夫贵贱,都必尊重他们。”

21 王和大臣们都赞同米姆干的建议,王便依照他的建议, 22 用各省的文字和各族的语言写谕旨,通告各省,丈夫要做一家之主,说话有权柄。

The Message

Esther 1

11-3 This is the story of something that happened in the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled from India to Ethiopia—127 provinces in all. King Xerxes ruled from his royal throne in the palace complex of Susa. In the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The military brass of Persia and Media were also there, along with the princes and governors of the provinces.

4-7 For six months he put on exhibit the huge wealth of his empire and its stunningly beautiful royal splendors. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the king threw a weeklong party for everyone living in Susa, the capital—important and unimportant alike. The party was in the garden courtyard of the king’s summer house. The courtyard was elaborately decorated with white and blue cotton curtains tied with linen and purple cords to silver rings on marble columns. Silver and gold couches were arranged on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and colored stones. Drinks were served in gold chalices, each chalice one-of-a-kind. The royal wine flowed freely—a generous king!

8-9 The guests could drink as much as they liked—king’s orders!—with waiters at their elbows to refill the drinks. Meanwhile, Queen Vashti was throwing a separate party for women inside King Xerxes’ royal palace.

10-11 On the seventh day of the party, the king, high on the wine, ordered the seven eunuchs who were his personal servants (Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas) to bring him Queen Vashti resplendent in her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the guests and officials. She was extremely good-looking.

12-15 But Queen Vashti refused to come, refused the summons delivered by the eunuchs. The king lost his temper. Seething with anger over her insolence, the king called in his counselors, all experts in legal matters. It was the king’s practice to consult his expert advisors. Those closest to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven highest-ranking princes of Persia and Media, the inner circle with access to the king’s ear. He asked them what legal recourse they had against Queen Vashti for not obeying King Xerxes’ summons delivered by the eunuchs.

16-18 Memucan spoke up in the council of the king and princes: “It’s not only the king Queen Vashti has insulted, it’s all of us, leaders and people alike in every last one of King Xerxes’ provinces. The word’s going to get out: ‘Did you hear the latest about Queen Vashti? King Xerxes ordered her to be brought before him and she wouldn’t do it!’ When the women hear it, they’ll start treating their husbands with contempt. The day the wives of the Persian and Mede officials get wind of the queen’s insolence, they’ll be out of control. Is that what we want, a country of angry women who don’t know their place?

19-20 “So, if the king agrees, let him pronounce a royal ruling and have it recorded in the laws of the Persians and Medes so that it cannot be revoked, that Vashti is permanently banned from King Xerxes’ presence. And then let the king give her royal position to a woman who knows her place. When the king’s ruling becomes public knowledge throughout the kingdom, extensive as it is, every woman, regardless of her social position, will show proper respect to her husband.”

21-22 The king and the princes liked this. The king did what Memucan proposed. He sent bulletins to every part of the kingdom, to each province in its own script, to each people in their own language: “Every man is master of his own house; whatever he says, goes.”